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Propping his tripod, Hine remembers
Childhood snowfall in Wisconsin,
Flakes careening in prairie wind,
A red sleigh skimming a frozen lake,
Curlicued breath-mist of two dappled drays.
But this is a blizzard of cotton dust
Invented by the Italian poet Dante Alighieri in the late thirteenth century to structure his three-part epic poem, The Divine Comedy, terza rima is composed of tercets woven into a rhyme scheme that requires the end-word of the second line in one tercet to supply the rhyme for the first and third lines in the following tercet. Thus, the rhyme scheme (aba, bcb, cdc, ded) continues through to the final stanza or line. Dante chose to end each canto of the The Divine Comedy with a single line that completes the rhyme scheme with the end-word of the second line of the preceding tercet.
Terza rima is typically written in an iambic line, and in English, most often in iambic pentameter. If another line length is chosen, such as tetrameter, the lines should be of the same length. There are no limits to the number of lines a poem composed in terza rima may have.
Possibly developed from the tercets found in the verses of Provencal troubadours, who were greatly admired by Dante,
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You compose first, then you listen for the reverberation.
While poetry remains as the primal foundation for my visual and literary work, I’m constantly analyzing its relationship to my ‘mixed-media’ identity, and I like Carrie Mae Weems’s words, “Sometimes my work needs to be photographic, sometimes it needs words, sometimes it needs to have a relationship with music, sometimes it needs all three and become a video projection.” There are endless creative decisions for each of us, linked to our needs as human beings.
As a poet who is also a photographer and painter, I find myself perpetually challenged by meditations on my blurred insider-outsider role as well as the tail-chasing dialectic of Subject-Object and Other. For me, poetry and photography, as mediums, exist as persistent spaces of discovery, shock, pleasure, risk, and joy. These spaces also contain voices, which can be intense, inaudible,
In April 2014 A Poet’s Glossary by Academy Chancellor Edward Hirsch was published. As Hirsch writes in the preface, “This book—one person’s work, a poet’s glossary—has grown, as if naturally, out of my lifelong interest in poetry, my curiosity about its vocabulary, its forms and genres, its histories and traditions, its classical, romantic, and modern movements, its various outlying groups, its small devices and large mysteries—how it works.” Each week we will feature a term and its definition from Hirsch’s new book.
letter poem, epistle: A kind of letter in poetry. The verse epistle, as it was once called, is a poem specifically addressed to a friend, a lover, or a patron. In his Epistles (20–14 B.C.E.), Horace established the type of epistle poem that reflects on moral and philosophical subjects. In his Heroides (ca. 25–16 BCE), Ovid established the type of epistle poem that reflects on romantic subjects. They are fictional letters from the legendary women of antiquity (